It's been a two's company kind of week here at The New IP news desk between ADVA and Overture, BT and EE and Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent. I think we can expect a bit more M&A action in 2016 as service providers and suppliers alike figure out their best approach to a virtualized future.
The week kicked off with the news that ADVA Optical Networking (Frankfurt: ADV) acquired
Overture Networks Inc. for a mere $35 million in order to boost its network functions virtualization (NFV) offerings as well as have instant access to the North American market. ADVA's CEO, Brian Protiva, told Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre that with Overture's gear, he believes the company "can now offer the most advanced NFV offering because we have hybrid hardware." (See ADVA Speeds to New IP With $35 Million Overture Bargain.)
In other M&A news, Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Alcatel-Lucent finally became one company and celebrated their first day of operations. Meanwhile, those of us who have been in the industry for a while took a more nostalgic view of the end of the Alcatel-Lucent era and reflected back on how much things have changed since French equipment maker Alcatel bought the US-based Lucent in 2006 and yes, it's really been ten years. (See Finn de Siècle for Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia & AlcaLu Officially Combine Operations .)
It's not just vendors that are making M&A headlines though. Today, BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) got the go ahead to take over EE for $17.9 billion, despite fears by competitors of creating a monopoly in the market. Combined, BT and EE will be a UK-based fixed and mobile force to be reckoned with -- serving more than 25 million mobile connections and 8.8 million broadband customers, or 45% of UK wireless spectrum and 40% of consumer telecom. (See BT Gets Final Go-Ahead for $17.9B EE Takeover.)
In other service provider news, Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) announced today that they have reached a new multi-year interconnect agreement between their global backbone networks aimed at benefiting Internet users worldwide. The agreement centers around something called "bit mile balance" in which both parties commit to carrying equitable amounts of bit miles, taking into account both the amount of traffic and the distance over which that traffic is carried by each network. For instance, a network can improve bit mile balance by delivering traffic to the other network closer to its end users. (See Level 3 Seals Bit Mile Peering Deal With Google.)
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Deploying New IP networks and services requires not only a new way of thinking but also a new way of building platforms and services, and getting there is not easy, especially when it comes to orchestration.